Is fat loss a bad goal for moms?
It might be. Let me explain why.
The bulk of my client base are moms. And, we talk about fat loss approximately 0% of the time.
BUT WAIT! Doesn’t every mom want to lose weight?
Nooooo! People are often confused when I tell them I work in fitness with moms and the focus is NOT on fat loss coaching.
It’s been a conscious choice and I’ve directed the conversation of my work away from it. To be honest, talking about fat loss is boring for me. Especially at this stage in my life. So, I just don’t talk about it.
It’s really that simple now.
There are a lot of other things to talk about when you’re working with pregnancy and moms. ALOT.
I don’t think fat loss is a bad goal for all moms.
But, I certainly don’t believe fat loss is a good goal for all moms. (By a “good goal”, I mean it will truly enhance someone’s health AND their life by having the main focus be on losing body mass.)
Please, never assume that fat loss is the goal of every person who has had a baby (trainers – I’m looking at you!).
3 Scenarios Where Fat Loss Is A BAD Goal
1). Fat loss is a bad goal for women who do not feel super comfortable in their body.
But, isn’t the point of fat loss to make people feel more comfortable in their body? NO! It’s not.
The point of fat loss is to make one’s body smaller.
That can be fine and, at times, helpful for one’s health. But, do not rely on fat loss to make someone love their body, though. It’s not a cure all.
One of the Expert Guest Lecturers in the Postnatal Fitness Specialist Academy is a Body Image queen. Her name is, Jenna Free.
When I interviewed her for the course, it struck me when she said this:
“If you think you want to lose weight for any other reason than to be smaller, do something different to achieve that goal.”
That is to say, what is the WHY behind the fat loss goal?
To feel more comfortable in your jeans? To feel more confident at the gym? To not have anxiety over wearing a bathing suit at the pool with your kids?
Focus on something else. Perhaps your focus becomes 3 days of strength training workouts per week because you freakin’ love how strong and powerful you feel during and after a session.
Will that action lead to fat loss? It very well could. But, the focal point of exercise doesn’t have to be making your body smaller.
2). Fat loss is a bad goal for women who are not extremely confident with eating mindfully and intuitively.
How many early postpartum women can confidently say they are eating mindfully and intuitively 100% of the time? Very few.
Postpartum can throw you for a loop in this regard. Eating can get weird on months of broken sleep, your life flipped upside down, nursing around the clock, and a small person requiring so much of your energy.
To throw a fat loss goal in the mix? Please don’t.
I’ve rarely seen this end well in the long run for physical, mental, and emotional health.
I’d encourage you to simply eat what you need to feel better, to keep your energy as steady as possible.
The main focus with my clients is to make eating easier. How can getting solid, nutrient dense meals into your body consistently be simpler?
Live here for the time being until that feels really, really manageable. That might be when your kid is 5 years old. It’s fine.
I don’t like to bring the attention onto restricting calories (even if just a small amount) or being hyper aware of food in women who are not feeling really confident in EATING for life.
3). Fat loss is a bad goal for women who often (or always) come last on the list in their life.
There is SO much else to tackle when working with moms. This is a big one.
Moms can take on a lot of guilt.
The other day I was walking with my daughter in the stroller and considered cutting our (20 MINUTE!) walk short because she had already been in the car seat and stroller that day to go get groceries.
She was fine. Not fussing. Hanging out. Yet, I was going to sacrifice my health for her.
Of course, this is going to happen when you have small children, but it’s necessary to give yourself what you need to feel good, too. You deserve that, unequivocally.
You might find yourself in this place one day where everybody’s stuff has become more important than your stuff.
A fat loss goal is unlikely to feel good here.
It’s unlikely to feel good when it’s tricky enough to get to the gym 2 days a week, or to take a 30-minute walk on most days, or to eat one meal sitting down per day.
So many more, strongly needed, places to put the mental energy than shrinking one’s body when you’re a mom with the demands of small kids.
I’m not trying to lose fat.
I’m not trying to lose weight, either.
I have a lot of things to do in my life and fat loss is not even in the realm of things I care about.
There have been a lot of days over the last year when I’ve not been able to choose how much sleep I get at night. Being somewhat restrictive in calorie consumption or ramping up my exercise intensity sounds absolutely miserable, at this stage in my life.
There are so many other things to talk about, fat loss doesn’t fit into the conversation I have with moms.
Let’s get interested in other stuff.